PWC Commonwealth Attorney Won’t Prosecute Many Types of Crimes Starting on May 1

Effective May 1, Prince William County will become a more dangerous place to live.

Message from Supervisor Yesli Vega:

In a private email to the Board, the Commonwealth’s Attorney said – as of May 1st – her office “will no longer be present in court” for the following crimes:

  • Petit Larceny
  • Shoplifting
  • Narcotic charges
  • Underage Alcohol offenses
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Escapes
  • Obscenity
  • False Identification and False Report to police
  • Destruction of Property
  • Trespassing
  • Reckless Driving (unless there is a fatality)
  • All Traffic and Operator License misdemeanors

She demanded that the Board give the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office 16 new employees this year. To put the size of this request in context, 16 new employees would have been a 21.62% increase in the size of her office. This would have cost taxpayers an additional $2 million. Yet, according to the data she provided, her office has only seen a 2% increase in caseload.

Amy Ashworth’s Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office is already larger than Fairfax County’s, which has over twice the population of our county.

Our county staff recommended giving the Commonwealth Attorney’s office 8 new employees. This is likely still far beyond what is necessary to handle the current caseload. We want to keep Prince William County safe while also being good stewards of your tax dollars. Therefore, the Board ultimately voted to support giving her 8 additional employees.

As a consequence of Amy Ashworth not getting as many new employees as requested, she has decided that her prosecutors will no longer be present in court for certain cases – while effectively blaming the Board for her decision.

This is a stain on the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office and unbecoming of an elected official.

Amy Ashworth’s office will give the responsibility of “subpoenaing of witnesses, answering of discovery, and presentation of evidence in court” from her attorneys to our already overburdened Police officers. This is what other progressive jurisdictions like Fairfax County do. How has that worked out for them?

Are you concerned about the consequences of what could happen on May 1st, should the Commonwealth Attorney follow through on her threat? If so, I encourage you to give her a call at (703) 792-6050 or send her an email at

Prince William County can’t afford to have crimes ignored as a political bargaining chip. I hope you will make your voice heard.